The US Treasury has said it is planning to start a series of actions against China as a way of pressuring Beijing to reform.
The Treasury Department said in a statement on Thursday that it was considering using a variety of “prospects” to impose a range of economic and trade restrictions, including the imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods and a “robust” countervailing duty.
It said it would also consider a “provisional” measure that would limit Chinese imports of American goods and impose tariffs on them.
“We believe it is the right time to begin this important, multi-pronged effort,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
“We are considering several measures, including tariffs on certain Chinese goods, to bring China to heel.”
The Treasury Department previously announced plans to use the threat of a possible trade war with China to pressure China on its trade practices, including on the yuan, to help bring about a broader global economic recovery.
Mnuchin, who also heads the US National Economic Council, said that the US had also increased its pressure on Beijing in recent months by raising the prospect of a new round of “secondary” sanctions against China over the yuan.
The US Treasury Department did not say what the measures would be or what they would entail.
As part of the efforts, Mnuchin also warned that “we are prepared to take further action against Chinese trade practices and any other impediments to US economic growth and prosperity.”
“As the US seeks to help the global economy recover from the devastating impact of this crisis, we must protect our economy from any and all attacks on our jobs and livelihoods,” Mnuchin wrote.
China’s Commerce Ministry declined to comment on Mnuchin’s comments, citing a policy of not commenting on the US government’s economic policy.
China has been the focus of a trade war by the US and other countries in recent years over the issue of whether China is taking enough measures to rein in its currency.
Last year, the Trump administration slapped tariffs on almost 1,000 items from China, including shoes and clothing.
In recent months, Mnumen has also suggested he is prepared to use more “robuster” to push China to reform its trade policies.
Earlier this month, he said that he could envision a trade fight with China over whether it should be more lenient with its currency manipulation.
Mnumen told CNBC on Wednesday that he had asked the Trump White House to send him a “white paper” by next week to give him an idea of what to expect.
But Mnuchin on Thursday dismissed that idea, saying he had not seen the report yet.